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Ethics watchdog asks FCC to revoke Fox's broadcast licenses
The Hill ^

Posted on 05/02/2012 8:22:22 AM PDT by Sub-Driver

Ethics watchdog asks FCC to revoke Fox's broadcast licenses By Andrew Feinberg - 05/02/12 09:56 AM ET

An ethics watchdog group is using the hacking scandal in the United Kingdom to call on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to cancel Fox's broadcast licenses.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government (CREW) sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday, arguing that U.S. law states that broadcast airwaves shall only be licensed to people of "good character" and used "in the public interest."

They're asking the FCC to revoke broadcast licenses for the 27 stations the Fox network owns in the United States.

Rupert Murdoch heads News Corp., the parent company of Fox. Murdoch's former newspaper, News of the World, is under investigation in England for allegedly bugging phones in order to obtain stories.

"The illegal actions of News Corp. are not only limited to Great Britain," CREW wrote, citing news reports that News of the World journalists hacked into the voice mailboxes of 9/11 victims. CREW called these actions evidence of a "significant character deficiency" that could disqualify Fox from holding a license.

"[T]he Murdochs clearly do not have the requisite character to retain their broadcast licenses," CREW wrote. "Accordingly, we request that the FCC immediately commence an action to revoke their licenses."

Adding to their argument, on Tuesday, a British parliamentary panel said Murdoch was unfit to run his media empire. His son, James Murdoch, an executive with News Corp., is also under investigation.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement that "if the Murdochs don’t meet the British standards-of-character test, it is hard to see how they can meet the American standard.”

The watchdog group also sent letters to the House and Senate Commerce committees asking for hearings into whether the Murdochs meet the FCC’s character standards.

An FCC spokesman did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment. Neither did Fox News.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: crew; foxnews; frinoxnews; rinonews; rupertmurdoch
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To: Sub-Driver

When Sloan was a guest on Hardball with Chris Matthews in December 2006, she spoke openly about many details in the Libby trial. Following her appearance on the show, she drew a strong warning from Judge Reggie Walton. Walton admonished Sloan and stated that “the Court would not tolerate this case being tried in the media.

In October 2010, American Prospect reporter Mike Elk raised allegations that Sloan was working in conjunction with for-profit college lobbyists to attack the credibility of pro-student lending reform advocates. Elk alleged that while Sloan was attacking the pro-student lending reforms advocate, she was also talking about potential jobs with lobbyists who worked for the for-profit college industry. In the summer of 2010, Sloan and CREW were highly critical of famed short-seller Steve Eisman, writing letters to the congressional subcommittee, denouncing the fact that he had an adverse financial interest. This criticism was launched despite Eisman fully disclosing his interest prior to testifying. At the same time CREW ignored the financial interest of an industry executive who also testified.

In the fall of 2010, Sloan announced she would be leaving CREW and accepting a position with Lanny Davis’ firm, who had lobbied on behalf of the for-profit college industry. Sloan subsequently decided against joining Davis’ firm and remains as the Executive Director of CREW.

21 posted on 05/02/2012 8:50:14 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: Sub-Driver

Well, I don’t claim to know a lot about this subject, but since FOX operates as a cable network for its news and business channels, does the FCC even have a say? Sure, they have local affiliates scattered around, but such a complaint wouldn’t involve any of those folks.

22 posted on 05/02/2012 8:51:51 AM PDT by alancarp (Liberals are all for shared pain... until they're included in the pain group.)
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To: SuzyQue
So, who do we need to write to to demand that their tax-exempt status be revoked.

We'd need to petition the IRS (presently busy cracking down on people for taking "too many" charitable deductions). Good luck.

23 posted on 05/02/2012 8:52:58 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: DAC21

so the left wants the USA to follow the british administrative rulings?

24 posted on 05/02/2012 8:56:09 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! and
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To: Sub-Driver
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government (CREW)

Soros sponsored

25 posted on 05/02/2012 9:05:08 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Sub-Driver; All
As conservatives, we're used to complaining about media, often with good reason. But let's not forget that once government gets its camel-head in the tent, all sorts of bad things happen as a result. This attempted attack on FOX’s broadcast license is one example of what can happen.

This has direct relevance to Free Republic and other internet media sites like this. Give the government the ability to regulate things that should be left to the free market, and we give government the right to abuse.

Some of Rupert Murdoch's employees did some really bad things. I don't know anyone who disputes that, including Murdoch himself who fired the employees and some of his closest senior advisers and shut down an entire newspaper.

The solution to illegal hacking and wiretapping is to prosecute the criminals. The solution to irresponsible media is to stop buying the newspaper or turn the channel on the TV. Those are two very different solutions for two very different problems, and applying the wrong solution leads to cures that are much worse than the disease.

Let's be glad that what happened in Britain can't happen in the United States, at least under current law.

This happened because of a British tradition of government regulation not only of the broadcast spectrum (which is probably unavoidable) but also of the press. We declared independence from Britain for a reason. If government has the right to control media to make sure only “fit persons” are in charge, it can do abusive things like this.

Hacking into people's emails and cell phones is illegal — and should be. However, once we grant the principle that government has the right to regulate media, do we want to let the head of a company which has a history of serious criminal activity continue to be allowed to participate in a regulated media business? I do not see a way to avoid the logical conclusion unless Murdoch can prove that he really did have no idea what was going on in his own company and wasn't being willfully and deliberately ignorant.

I don't dispute that the actual practice in Britain is not as bad as what is possible in theory and in “extreme situations.”

The problem is that without the protections of the First Amendment, self-censorship becomes a problem. I've posted at the end of this note just two examples of problems in Britain that would not be possible in the United States. Free Republic people would be screaming bloody murder if President Obama tried to do what was being discussed by the British government in these articles — and not just Free Republic and other American conservatives but also the ACLU, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and much of the political activist culture on both sides of the aisle.

The fact that most of these plans were abandoned in Britain is not the point. The point is that some things are possible in Britain which are not possible (at least so far) in the United States.

I mean no disrespect to British conservatives. There's a different constitutional tradition on the two sides of the Atlantic on such things as press freedom, gun rights, establishment of religion, etc., and those differences stem from different views about the proper limits on government power. While British and American conservatives may agree on many things, the differences are important and cut to the root of why 1776 happened.

Certainly British conservatives are great allies to have, but that doesn't mean we agree on everything.


MPs seek to censor the media
The Independent

“Britain's security agencies and police would be given unprecedented and legally binding powers to ban the media from reporting matters of national security, under proposals being discussed in Whitehall. The Intelligence and Security Committee, the parliamentary watchdog of the intelligence and security agencies which has a cross-party membership from both Houses, wants to press ministers to introduce legislation that would prevent news outlets from reporting stories deemed by the Government to be against the interests of national security. The committee also wants to censor reporting of police operations that are deemed to have implications for national security...”

Britain Blames Social Media For Class Riots, Looks to Censorship
Facebook, Twitter, and BlackBerries are likely the first to be censored

By Jason Mick
Daily Tech
August 12, 2011 9:25 AM

“Last week the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man by members of the Metropolitan Police Service in Tottenham, North London, enraged the nation's working class. People in several British cities took to the streets engaging in looting, arson, burglary, robbery and ‘general disorder.’ Five civilians were killed, 186 police officers were injured, and over 1,200 people have been imprisoned for their role in the riots. Property damages are estimated at £100M ($161M USD) ... To try to cut that off, the nation's political elite are considering a sweeping campaign of censorship of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. In a Thursday speech to Parliament, embattled British Prime Minister David Cameron remarked, ‘Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organized via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them.’ He said that the government and police are going ‘to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.’”

26 posted on 05/02/2012 9:22:52 AM PDT by darrellmaurina
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To: US_MilitaryRules

Speaking of Dan Blather.... he was on the local A.M. station (WBAP) this morning blathering about a book or somesuch.

Must be some more of that fair and balanced garbage.

Regardless, once I figured out who it was it was time to change the station.

Hypocrites.... the lot of them.

27 posted on 05/02/2012 9:26:34 AM PDT by A Voice (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: Sub-Driver

I’m not getting this. Piers Morgan was the editor responsible during the cell-phone scandal. Piers was fired from the Fox empire. Piers is now an employee of CNN. CNN is the company employing a person of low character.

28 posted on 05/02/2012 9:32:41 AM PDT by Sgt_Schultze (A half-truth is a complete lie)
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To: Sub-Driver

Gonna pull CBS’s license for the Dan Rather farce? NBC’s for the faked “exploding pickup truck” story? ABC’s for the Food Lion fraud?

That’s the problem with hurling feces: sometimes it’s hard to tell the thrower from the target.

29 posted on 05/02/2012 9:49:38 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: Sub-Driver
An ethics watchdog group (Melanie Stoned, is using the hacking scandal in the United Kingdom to call on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to cancel Fox's broadcast licenses.

Yeah 'Mel'. In your commie-red dreams.

Like the NFL, MLB, NASCAR -- and ALL their sponsors will let that happen. You're talking billions of $$$$$$$ there sweetie-pie. Not even Barry is crazy enough to touch that Tar Baby.

Think you better stay off that crack-pipe for a few days. And no bongs either.

30 posted on 05/02/2012 9:56:38 AM PDT by Condor51 (Yo Hoffa, so you want to 'take out conservatives'. Well okay Jr - I'm your Huckleberry)
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To: Sub-Driver

We are seeing the liberals go through melt-down mode.

31 posted on 05/02/2012 10:55:50 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: darrellmaurina

What we are seeing is a melt-down of the liberals, no more, no less.

32 posted on 05/02/2012 10:57:51 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Sub-Driver

If anything Fox News should start a conservative sister company. MSFOX? CNFOX?

33 posted on 05/02/2012 11:01:15 AM PDT by Leep (Enemy of the Statist)
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To: Leep

Fox Headline News? Fox Interantional News? PBSFOX? Fox News Wire? Foxywood

34 posted on 05/02/2012 11:04:11 AM PDT by Leep (Enemy of the Statist)
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To: Sub-Driver
What happens when FOX is taken off the air and no one can watch the simpsons any more?

Will Joe Sixpack blame Obama for taking homer away?

35 posted on 05/02/2012 7:52:36 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: alancarp

This would affect Fox owned & operated only, I think, and maybe Fox entertainment. The Obama admin wouldn’t dare get rid of Idol.

36 posted on 05/02/2012 11:26:20 PM PDT by steve8714 (The answer, surprisingly, is Carnahan.)
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To: Sub-Driver

Shocked face. Another Soros group.

37 posted on 05/02/2012 11:30:55 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Time to beat the swords of government tyranny into the plowshares of freedom.)
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